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#MentalHealthMonday – A list of Famous People who have experienced Mental Illness

By Health, Inspiration, ThinkingNo Comments

Below are a list of famous people who have experienced mental health illness (in alphabetical order and by condition):

Anxiety and depression often coexist. Bipolar is characterised by episodes of mania which can include anxiety and episodes of depression. So although many of these people could fit under more than one mental illness, I have placed them in the condition that I feel bet fits.

Anxiety

MI-Charles-Darwin

Charles Darwin, Naturalist & Geologist [Deceased] According to Amanda Green
Image From & Copyright © Wikipedia.

MI-Heath-Ledger

Heath Ledger, Actor [Deceased] According to Amanda Green
Image From & Copyright © HeathUltimate on Tumblr.

MI-Matt-Haig

Matt Haig, Author
According to his own book Reasons to Stay Alive
Image From & Copyright © Matt Haig

MI-Vincent-van-Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, Painter [Deceased] According to Brain Pickings
Image From & Copyright © Wikipedia.

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Bipolar

MI-Ben-Stiller

Ben Stiller, Comedian & Actor
According to Amanda Green
Image From & Copyright © Vulture.

MI-Britney-Spears

Britney Spears, Singer
According to Amanda Green
Image From & Copyright © Celebmafia.

MI-Carrie-Fisher

Carrie Fisher, Advocate & Actress [Deceased] According to Hannah Parkinson at The Guardian
Image From & Copyright © The Wall Street Journal.

MI-Catherine-Zeta-Jones

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Actress
According to Express
Image From & Copyright © Wikipedia.

MI-Isaac-Newton

Isaac Newton, Mathematician & Physicist [Deceased] According to Famous Bipolar People
Image From & Copyright © Wikipedia.

MI-Russell-Brand

Russell Brand, Comedian
According to Wikipedia
Image From & Copyright © Letters Live.

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Depression

MI-Abraham-Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, Politician & Former President of the USA [Deceased] According to Amanda Green
Image From & Copyright © bio.

MI-Alanis-Morissette

Alanis Morissette, Singer
According to Amanda Green
Image From & Copyright © Alanis Morissette on Twitter.

MI-Anne-Rice

Anne Rice, Author
According to Your Dictionary
Image From & Copyright © The Daily Beast.

MI-Charles-Dickens

Charles Dickens, Writer [Deceased] According to Amanda Green
Image From & Copyright © bio.

MI-Denise-Welch

Denise Welch, Actor & Presenter
According to Denise Welch in the Mirror
Image From & Copyright © Daily Star Sunday.

MI-Dolly-Parton

Dolly Parton, Singer
According to Dolly Parton in the Mirror
Image From & Copyright © Syedammaralavi1 on Pinterest.

MI-Drew-Barrymore

Drew Barrymore, Actress
According to Caroline Bologna on The Huffington Post
Image From & Copyright © Drew Barrymore on Twitter.

MI-Emma-Thompson

Emma Thompson, Writer & Actress
According to Roya Nikkhah at The Telegraph
Image From & Copyright © Hamilton Hodell Talent Management.

MI-George-Michael

George Michael, Singer [Deceased] According to People Music
Image From & Copyright © Lynn Allaway on The Huffington Post.

MI-Harrison-Ford

Harrison Ford, Actor & Film Producer
According to living in stigma
Image From & Copyright © QUEERTY.

MI-J.K-Rowling

J.K Rowling, Author
According to The Mighty
Image From & Copyright © MTV.

MI-Jim-Carrey

Jim Carrey, Comedian & Actor
According to Mental Health Daily Blog
Image From & Copyright © AngelicView.

MI-Kylie-Minogue

Kylie Minogue, Singer
According to Amanda Green
Image From & Copyright © Mirror.

MI-Princess-Diana

Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, Princess [Deceased] According to depression-guide.com
Image From & Copyright © Dr. Rebecca Hains.

MI-Robbie-Williams

Robbie Williams, Singer
According to The Independent
Image From & Copyright © Robbie Williams Store.

MI-Robin-Williams

Robin Williams, Comedian & Actor [Deceased] According to The Independent
Image From & Copyright © DAVID LANZILAO/REDUX on Daily Beast.

MI-Ruby-Wax

Ruby Wax, Comedian, Actress & Writer
According to herself in her autobiography How Do You Want Me? and in her two books about mental health: Sane New World & Frazzled
Image From & Copyright © MindBodySpirit.co.uk.

MI-Stephen-Fry

Stephen Fry, Presenter & Writer
According to Stephen Fry himself on his blog
Image From & Copyright © Stephen Fry.

MI-Stephen-King

Stephen King, Author
According to Stephen King himself in an interview with The Guardian
Image From & Copyright © eddymarchini on Pinterest.

MI-Trisha-Goddard

Trisha Goddard, Presenter
According to Amanda Green
Image From & Copyright © Alchetron.

MI-Winston-Churchill

Winston Churchill, Politician and Former Prime Minister of the UK [Deceased] According to Paul Foley at the Black Dog Institute. Winston Churchill famously called his depression the black dog.
Image From & Copyright © ITV News.

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I know there’s loads of famous people who have experience of mental illness who are not on these lists. If you feel compelled to tell me whom I’ve missed off, please leave a comment below.

The point of this blog post is to show someone experiencing mental illness that they are not alone. That they are among the great and the good.

mental-health-focus

Last year I wrote a series of blog posts with a Mental Health Focus. You can read them here: 5 Brilliant TED Talks About Mental Health, I’ve Been One of the 1 in 4, A List of Common Conditions and Treatment & Recovery.

Write soon,

Antony



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:


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Creative Writing: Middle

By Creativity, ThinkingNo Comments
writing-quill-ink-well-large

Inkwell & Quill. (Image Copyright: Sye Watts/Antony Simpson.)

This is the second part in a blog post series, where I’ll be sharing some of what I’ve learned about creative writing over the last few years. The first blog post in the series was Creative Writing: Beginning.

1. Remember Your Aim
You should be writing something that entertains and is enjoyable to you and others. That’s all your creative work needs to do. It doesn’t need to be a work of literacy genius.

2. Your Writers Voice
Your writers voice is part of the art of creative writing. It will be influenced by Perspective, which I have wrote about here. It may change dramatically in different works.

Some writers try to emulate the voice of writers that they admire. This can be an interesting exercise and way to explore how those writers show their distinctive voice. To get the most out of this exercise, rather than passively read, you need to analyse how they crafted their voice.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert whom has written of many books, developed her writers voice by writing each of her books to friend or family member. Her writers voice in Big Magic, a book about living creatively, is warm, caring, passionate, engaging and captivating throughout.

Your unique writers voice will generally develop over time, with regular writing practice. The key point here is: practice.

Simple Writing – Writer’s Voice: What it is and how to develop yours is a good article to read, where the author writes about phrasing, tone, attitude and gives some tips on how to develop your writers voice. But nothing really beats writing lots.

3. Keep Going
Don’t let fear hold you back from starting, continuing or finishing a piece of creative writing. Even if, as your writing, you think it’s the worst thing ever written, keep going.

As author Anne Rice says in this video, ‘Just kick out the pages:’

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So keep writing, everyday if possible. Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t manage everyday. Just write when you can. Whatever time you are managing to write, it’s better than not writing at all. Remember that if you keep going, eventually you’re going to finish. You’ll be bringing a new story into the world, which is wonderful.

4. Dialogue
Some rules generally apply:

  • Less is more.
  • Most people don’t talk to themselves. So don’t have characters do it.
  • It should be a conversation, not a monologue or full of large longwinded statements.
  • Don’t have a character explain to another character what happened in the last scene you wrote. It feels repetitive and tedious to the reader. One character can summarise to another character if absolutely necessary. But if the other character needs to know the details, then maybe he/she should have been in the last scene as a witness to events.
  • Only on rare occasions should you cut the end of dialogue, like this: . If you do it all the time, the dialogue isn’t moving the story along and the reader will get frustrated that no character ever finishes a sentence. Plus regularly cutting the end of sentences will lose its value and significance.
  • Dialogue tags such as he said and she replied are useful to identify who is talking and how they are saying what they are saying. But the overall tone of the conversation should be clear from the words in the dialogue.

To improve your dialogue listen to the conversations of strangers in every public place that you visit. The dialogue you write should sound like that. It should have hooks. During the editing process, which I will write about in the next blog post in the series, it is useful to read it aloud to yourself or someone else.

5. Tense
Generally past or present tense is used. Future tense is rarely used. Once you’ve decided which tense to use, be consistent and use it throughout your creative work. Here’s an article that explains tense simply: Creative Writing – Tense.

6. Description
General fiction set in the real world needs less description than creative works set in other worlds. If your creative work is set in the past, future or another world consider: societal structures, culture, religion/belief systems, etc. Only tell the reader what they need to know.

Avoid writing cliché opportunities to describe a character or settings. One such example of a cliché opportunity is the main character standing in front of a mirror observing and describing themselves to the reader. It’s been done so many times, that it has become a cliché.

A good tip, when it comes to description is to make references. So for example, rather than writing: Jean drove off in her red car. Write: Jean drove off in her red Nissan Micra. Be aware that over time these descriptive references might date your creative work. Some descriptive references are so embedded into society that they could never date your creative work.

In my short story A Few Amazing Moments I deliberately used descriptive references to set the time in recent history that the various scenes were set in.

Perspective alters how you describe things. You can read more about perspective here. Pacing alters the amount of description a scene has. You can read more about pacing here. But the rule is: in slower scenes more description is allowed. In action or fast-paced scenes there should be less description. To much description or to little can significantly impact on your overall pacing.

7. Back-up Your Creative Work – Regularly
We’ve all heard nightmare stories about writers whom have lots their entire work because of a computer crash or computer dying on them. They either didn’t hit the save button or didn’t back-up their computer or both. I’ve lost large chunks of scenes in the past because I didn’t hit the save button often enought. I’ve also lost entire creative projects because a computer decided to die on me. So here’s the advice:

  • Hit the save button at the end of every paragraph.
  • Back-Up your work regularly. Some people use the cloud. I personally use Time Machine and then do a manual copy/paste back-up on an external hard drive once a week.

8. Done Is Better Than Good
This advice comes from Author Elizabeth Gilbert. In her book Big Magic, which have reviewed here, she writes about the danger of perfectionism.

If you aim for your creative work to be perfect you will drive yourself insane. No matter how much time, energy, effort and work you put into a creative work it will never be perfect. So rather than striving for perfection, aim for completing your creative work to the best of your current ability.

So many creative people, leave work in their desk draws, unfinished, because they don’t feel it’s good enough. Because they are aiming for perfection. Just take a second to imagine the number of superb stories that never see the light of day, let alone get read, because the writer is aiming for perfection.

9. First Draft
Congratulations on completion of the first draft of your creative work. But for a good writer, it’s not even half finished yet. The manuscript now needs to be edited, which may include some re-writing.

In my next blog post of the series, I’ll be writing about editing (including an editing checklist), feedback and publishing options.

Write soon,

Antony



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:


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Import: My Awesome Year in Words

By Creativity, Journalism, ThinkingNo Comments

Hi all,

This year has been an awesome year for my reading & reviewing and for my creative writing. Let me take you through the highlights of this year:

In January Headline Publishers emailed me to say they wanted me to do more book reviews for them. I wrote, edited and submitted Stuck Between A Rock… to The Write Review Short Story Prize. Although it wasn’t shortlisted; the experience and learning gained from completing, editing and submitting the short story was invaluable.

In March I saw a call for submissions for short stories for a gay anthropology. I wrote, edited and submitted A Few Amazing Moments. The editors declined the submission stating that it has promise, but needs more work. Again, more invaluable experience and learning was gained.

In April I started writing for The Gay UK and shared this news with you. I decided to be brave and share my short stories online. I was inspired by this TED Talk: Elizabeth Gilbert – Your elusive creative genius.

In May I enjoyed reading & reviewing In His Secret Life by Mel Bossa. I was inspired by Advice About Writing From Anne Rice: ‘Kick Out The Pages!’ I wrote the politically sensitive NEWS: A Letter to Manchester Pride – Why are you giving less money to Gay Charities? article.

By June I was feeling more confident about my writing, thinking to myself: I’m doing it! I’m actually writing! This was helped by being commissioned for my first paid piece of writing by Hire Bloggers.

In July I reviewed I Want Your Love (DVD) and hosted two giveaways on blog, both of these activities was as a result of my continued writing. I renewed hosting on my personal blog and launched a professional writers website, both paid for by my writing.

By September I had submitted, had accepted and published twenty six articles or book reviews on The Gay UK.

In December, I begun work on my next short story and have enquired about a creative writing course at Runshaw College.

It’s been a truly awesome year of creative writing; with a good mix of successes and failures. In 2014, I hope to do more paid journalism and develop, write and submit more short stories into competitions.

Write soon,

Antony



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:


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Advice About Writing From Anne Rice: ‘Kick Out The Pages!’

By Books & Authors, CreativityNo Comments

In this video Anne Rice gives some advice about writing:

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I recommend you turn your speakers up as the audio is very quiet. Anne Rice is a passionate Writer and an inspirational woman.

I liked that she pointed our that there’s “no rules” when it comes to writing and that she says:
“Don’t take no for an answer from anybody. No matter how many rejections you get keep going, keep going.”

I’ve had a few short stories rejected recently and because of this I found this piece of advice really useful:
“Never revise that book because you got a rejection from an editor with a bunch of negative advice. Never do that. Any editor who rejects your book doesn’t get it.”

But by far, the most important piece of advice Anne Rice gives is that a Writer needs to: ‘Kick Out The Pages!’

So with that in mind, guess what I’ve been up to recently? You got it, writing. I hope to share more Creative Writing soon.

Take care,

Antony

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